Don't miss the latest stories
Game Boy’s Unreleased Accessory Turned It Into A ‘WorkBoy’ Desktop Tool
By Mikelle Leow, 29 Dec 2020
Image via padu_foto / Shutterstock.com
You know that old saying about all work and no play. Well, the Game Boy could do both. With the help of a long-lost add-on called the ‘WorkBoy’, the handheld gaming device was able to help you complete tasks.
The accessory was a keyboard that—when attached to the gadget via Link Cable—could pull up 12 PDA-like apps on the Game Boy interface, including a clock with an alarm function, a calculator, a phone book, an appointment book, and a conversion feature. To use it, you would also need to slot in a cartridge into the Game Boy.
The WorkBoy being well ahead of its time in 1992, it was planned to retail for a high price of US$79 to US$89.
The unreleased attachment probably would have stayed buried in the past, had it not been for the curiosity of video game historian Liam Robertson from YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming?, who had some memory of the add-on being covered by the media.
The tool, developed by Source Research and Development and produced by defunct video kit company Fabtek, was meant to be an officially-licensed Nintendo add-on. It was even trademarked by Nintendo of America and showcased at CES 1992, but it never came to be.
Keen to find out why the WorkBoy never made it to the market, Robertson tracked down its makers 28 years later—and even got his hands on one of only two known prototypes in the world. The other was placed in the possession of Nintendo.
As for why the WorkBoy was never released, WorkBoy designer Eddie Gill shared that it was largely due to Nintendo’s plan to drive down the price of the US$89.99 Game Boy. This meant that the state-of-the-art accessory could have ended up becoming more expensive than the gadget.
Another hurdle leading to its ill fate was an explosion in a Japanese computer chip factory that caused a spike in D-RAM prices. This made it practically impossible for the WorkBoy to meet the Game Boy’s revised price point.
At the very least, the internet can finally witness the desktop helper that could have been nearly three decades ago.
*Spends a full year tracking down the last WorkBoy add-on potentially in existence*— Liam Robertson (@Doctor_Cupcakes) December 26, 2020
*uses it to play Funkytown* pic.twitter.com/UIYPqmUivJ
[via IGN, cover image via padu_foto / Shutterstock.com]
More related news
Also check out these recent news